Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Where you from? In Austin, there’s a one in five chance it’s overseas

These bowls, part of the Empty Bowl Project held in Austin just before Thanksgiving every year, were made locally. But nearly 20 percent of Austin residents were born abroad (Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon).
These bowls, part of the Empty Bowl Project held in Austin just before Thanksgiving every year, were made locally. But nearly 20 percent of Austin residents were born abroad (Austin American-Statesman, Deborah Cannon).

Twenty days before Thanksgiving, the city of Austin celebrated local residents born abroad.

"Austin is truly an international city. Nearly 20 percent of our residents are born overseas," an Austin city official, Natalie Betts, said in a Nov. 8, 2013, press release about an orientation session in Austin’s International Welcome Program.

That’s correct. The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey analysis covering 2007-11 found that about 19.3 percent of Austin’s residents were born in foreign countries.

Specifically, according to data from the five-year analysis that city spokeswoman Melissa Alvarado emailed to us, 150,565 of the city’s 782,149 residents were born abroad. (Not included: the 11,548 Austinites born in Puerto Rico and U.S. Island areas or born abroad to American parents, who were classified as "native.")

That makes the Live Music Capital of the World more cosmopolitan than the U.S. in general (13 percent foreign-born) or Texas (16 percent), according to other 2007-11 survey data. Austin also edged San Antonio (14 percent) and Fort Worth (17 percent), though it had fewer residents born abroad than Dallas (25 percent) and Houston (28 percent).

For a full breakdown--including the share of such residents born in Mexico--digest the full fact check to the right.